Steam Tracing Design Guide

All too often an old steam tracing specification or previously adopted practices are followed which overlook new product developments or improvements. Today there are more types of steam tracers to choose from than ever before, providing a range of conductances to closely match the actual heat requirements for a given pipe heating system. By maximizing performance with a range of steam tracers while minimizing the total cost of unnecessary components, the cost of ownership for a steam tracing system is optimized.

  1. design guide addresses the steam tracing requirements of piping and equipment by matching the heating requirements with the type of steam tracers best suited for that application. The information contained in this design guide will take the reader through a step-by-step procedure to make proper steam tracer selections based on:
• Pipe size • Maximum exposure temperature limitations
• Thermal insulation type and thickness • Minimum ambient temperature
• Desired maintain temperature range  

After following the prescribed steps in this design guide, the reader will be able to design, select and/or specify or establish a bill of materials for a steam tracing system.

For applications ranging from freeze protecting water lines to maintaining elevated process temperatures as high as 1,250°F (677°C), Thermon has a tracing product to fit the application. These product families are distinctly broken down into three groups: isolated tracers, bare convection tracers and conduction tracers.

Isolated Steam TracerIsolated Tracers . . . Designed for use with low to medium-low heat requirements, Thermon’s SafeTrace®SLS-IT and DLS-IT are metallic tracer tubes covered with composite materials that lower thermal conductance to reduce heat output and temperature. The reduced heat output of SafeTrace SLS-IT and DLS-IT is predictable to ensure controlled heat distribution along the length of a traced pipe without hot spots or overheating. These tracers also utilize a safety yellow identification jacket to signify the presence of inherently dangerous materials such as steam. A feature unique to SafeTrace SLS-IT and DLS-IT is their ability to run continuously from the steam supply manifold, along the pipe and to the condensate return manifold.

Convection Steam TracerConvection Tracers . . . By using bare tracers or SafeTraceBTS tracers, convection tracing provides medium-low to medium heat transfer requirements. SafeTrace BTS is a metallic tracer tube covered with a special high temperature polymer jacket that provides a measure of personnel burn protection without sacrificing thermal performance. The safety yellow jacket also provides corrosion resistance to most acids and alkalis.

Conduction Steam TracerConduction Tracers . . . When the heat requirements exceed the capabilities of isolated and convection tracers, tracers aided by heat transfer compounds should be used. Thermon’s heat transfer compounds are available in a wide variety of configurations:

SnapTrace® preformed flexible heat transfer compound
T-3 water based heat transfer compound
T-99 water based heat transfer compound
T-80 and T-85 epoxy base heat transfer compound
T-802 two-part resin based heat transfer compound
NH nonhardening heat transfer compound
EFS™-1 flat, flexible heat transfer compound)

  1. heat transfer compounds are engineered to meet the application requirements, provide excellent heat transfer at a fraction of the cost of a jacketed pipe system while eliminating the possibility of product contamination. The heat transfer properties of Thermon’s compounds are so good that a single tracer utilizing heat transfer compound will do the work of three to five bare tracers.

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PECON is a growing and promising Singapore company, we started our commenced our journey in 2011 to work with Process and related industries in the undertaking of Electrical and Instrumentation Engineering service and contracts.

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